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Thread: Cabin Fever - English Excuses.

  1. #1
    U19 12th Man pakster's Avatar
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    Cabin Fever - English Excuses.

    Nice little article here....


    Team England is failing a test of character in Pakistan. You may be surprised to learn that it is not directly related to events on the cricket pitch. All teams have to face up to defeat, and it is your response to failure that reveals your potential to rule cricket's roost. Unfortunately, it is this test of mental attrition that England's management and their troupe of official and unofficial communications experts have failed with aplomb.

    A great team stands firm in defeat, learning from mistakes, identifying opportunities for improvement, and offering justified praise to the opposition. England, to their credit, have done all that, but they have forgotten the final tenet of this success ethic: Do not ruin your own credibility by blaming defeat on something ridiculous.

    Those of you who have observed England's post-Test series angst will have become familiar with a new medical condition, something that apparently affects young men with little imagination staying in five-star hotels. Inexplicably, this latest attempt at excusing poor performance has acquired the inappropriate sobriquet of cabin fever. Cabin fever, according to England's coach and some keen observers in the English media corps, is a fiendish condition likely to affect your performance as a top international sportsman - clearly it might be if England's players had been stuck in a cabin for weeks.

    Importantly, this inspirational diagnosis offers an excuse for England's potentially world-beating team to be soundly thrashed by a bunch of foreign Johnnies - all the better for the insulting slap with which it strikes the cheeks of their hosts.

    Now, in my long - and some might unfairly say undistinguished - medical career (also known as my day job), I have been involved in the assessment of thousands of patients and thousands more medical research papers. I can sincerely inform you that cabin fever - or five-star-hotel fever as this particular variant might be more accurately described - is not a topic that rivals bird flu as the next major threat to our species. You may have got this impression from the amateur psychologists in the England camp. If you have, forget it.

    Cabin fever is not a threat to public health or even mere sportsmen's health. I'm not sure if it even exists. And even if it does, staying in spacious luxury hotels is not a plausible predisposition. Following this precedent of imaginative medical diagnosis, Pakistan should arm themselves with a whole host of implausible excuses when they tour England next summer. Disco fever might be one, particularly likely to strike down fast bowlers who fancy themselves as party animals. Secularism fever might be another, a worrying condition that afflicts Muslims spooked by twenty-four-hour licensing laws, low-cut dresses, and bacon butties. Or how about crap-weather fever, an intense allergy to the miserable climate of an English summer. The possibilities are endless.


    But behind all this silliness lie two serious messages. First, to win in South Asia you must embrace its culture, a strategy that Steve Waugh masterminded partly through his compassion and partly through pragmatism. It was an attitude that helped Australia conquer India and Pakistan, as well as influencing the approach of Nasser Hussain and his team five years ago. This England team began promisingly by helping earthquake victims, but since then appears to have succumbed to the siege mentality that comes too easily to cricket tourists in South Asia.

    After a pleasant summer with Australia, Pakistan would be harsh and little fun, wrote the sages, a prophecy that induced self-fulfilment. The tight security net around England offers an excuse of sorts, but this security level was sought by England's management. Secondly, in watching England and Pakistan compete for over thirty years, the single most tiresome aspect has been England's lack of grace in defeat, England's gallant knights looted by the scoundrels from the East.

    We have had slurs about Pakistan's "excessive" appealing and biased home umpires. Hysteria about ball-tampering and Shahid Afridi's schoolboy spin in Faisalabad, and carping about use of substitutes and intimidatory bowling. The background has been filled with a condescending view of Pakistan as some modern-day hellhole, except even hell wouldn't be quite as boring. And while much of this nonsense has been purged or suppressed in recent years, it lives on in subtle incarnations such as the current enthusiasm for cabin fever.

    With the one-day series in Pakistan and the tour of India to follow, England must quickly learn to open their minds to South Asia, otherwise this winter will prove to be as fruitless as the summer was fruitful - and the players will have suffered cabin fever for nothing.


    http://content-uk.cricinfo.com/pakve...ry/229001.html
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    Looks like something the author just wanted to write, regardless of the reality.

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    International Vice-Captain Dasa's Avatar
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    I read that article a couple of days ago...I thought it was very good, although to be fair, I haven't heard a great deal about England making excuses for their loss. There's not doubt though that they came into Pakistan with the wrong attitude (IMO)...as the Aussies have shown, you can't come into the subcontinent expecting it to be the same as home...Australia adjusted, and won.

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    U19 12th Man pakster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greg
    Looks like something the author just wanted to write, regardless of the reality.
    Disagree. Its common knowledge that the english management, journalists etc have been harping on about being stuck in their 5 star hotels as soon as they set foot on pakistani soil.


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    I'm a pretty huge SR Waugh fan, but he never captained a test side in Pakistan to my knowledge. The last time Oz toured Pakistan Tubby Taylor was still in charge! Our attitude may stink to high heaven, but at least we turned up!
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    Quote Originally Posted by pakster
    Disagree. Its common knowledge that the english management, journalists etc have been harping on about being stuck in their 5 star hotels as soon as they set foot on pakistani soil.
    That is just an unavoidable fact. I haven't seen much evidence of it being used as an excuse and certainly not by the players. The fact that it was raised a long time before the series (and was often referred to as a potentially positive thing - building team unity etc) only adds to that.

    Beyond that the article is confusing what journalists write to fill their copy and the players - I have seen almost no evidence of excuses or sour grapes from the England players, just an acknowledgement of their own failings, in particular in the fourth innings of the first test. Maybe they have focussed slightly more on what they did wrong than what Pakistan did right, but that's hardly a hanging offence.

    And in the middle of it all a particularly bizarre point about England "requesting" security as if the management should have treated player safety as an optional extra. And a long passage which is just a railing against past injustices.

    Summarising though, the whole tone of the piece is a bit confused - it says that "cabin fever" should not be used as a reason for defeat and then says the reason England were not successful was because they "didn't embrace the culture"... thereby giving a reason for England's defeat.
    Last edited by greg; 11-12-2005 at 05:11 AM.

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    What is all this "embracing the culture" business?

    Steve Waugh most likely has, when it comes to India - but he spends a lot of time there outside of cricket tours. I'm not sure what that has to do with the rest of the side. And as Brumby pointed out, it's extremely dodgy to talk about Waugh conquering the subcontinent as captain when he never managed to beat India, we played Pakistan at neutral venues and we lost in Sri Lanka. And Shane Warne still brings his boxes of baked beans on tour with him. To the victors go the spoils, eh? I think the main reason we finally beat India away was because we figured out we had to play more defensively, rather than it being an issue of embracing the culture. Not that Steve Waugh had anything to do with that.

    BTW, I don't think there's anything wrong with embracing the culture at all, in fact, it's desirable and I think it IS an issue -, but I'm not entirely convinced that Australia do this significantly more than England does, so their elevation on this count in the article is a little bit much. The siege mentality starts to develop once you're losing, and it wouldn't surprise me that much if England had found themselves in a similar situation on some particularly harsh Australian tours.

    The best part of the article is where he reels off the list of obligations a team has to satisfy in order to be graceful losers, and then says "England did all that" before berating them further... LOL.
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    International Vice-Captain Anna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steds
    Seconded.

    COME ON YOU BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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    very unfair article!

    Rightly or wrongly not too many high profile westerner athletes would embrace a trip to pakistan in the current political climate.
    To then attack the team that do go is sad and not very constructive and the way the author ridicules the security issue is embarrasing.

    It was clearly security issues that kept England in their hotels. There were disappointments about things they did last time but couldnt be repeated for security reasons.

    Surely the fact that the tour did take place was great for pakistan, england, cricket, the world and dosnt need this arrogant criticism.

  11. #11
    International Vice-Captain open365's Avatar
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    there are too many things wrong with this article to list them all.

    It seems as if they're putting false words into the England team's mouth just so they can write an article on it.

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    International Coach Barney Rubble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anna
    Seconded.
    Thirded. One moment England are the toast of world cricket for bringing down the mighty Australians, the next journalists worldwide are lining up to have a pop at them, and usually on grounds that have nothing to do with cricket either.



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